Contributed by Garrick Dee Tan, from Juicing with G. Juicing can be very beneficial to your health when done right. But when done wrong, the results can have the opposite effect from what you want to achieve. Instead of losing weight, you can gain weight, and in some cases it can be life threatening (I’ll explain this in a bit). So before you drop that first celery into a juicer, read this article carefully so that you maximize every ounce of juice you drink and don’t waste money on stuff you don’t need.
Mistake 1: Randomly adding stuff in without considering how it would taste
Number one reason why I juice is to improve on my health but that doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy it right? I won’t be juicing as long as I have been if I wasn’t enjoying it in the first place. For my wife that’s the number one priority.
When you randomly mix in vegetables and fruit don’t mix well together, that’s a recipe for disaster. It could result in a puke-inducing concoction even your dog will not drink. I did that once when I juiced orange (with the skin on) and mustard greens. Want to know how it tasted like? Imagine drinking liquid wasabi, that’s how bad it was.
Some ingredients just don’t fit together. To avoid this you’ll have to know the basics of making a proper juice that balances the right amount of vegetables and fruit that maximizes nutritional benefit and minimizes fructose content.
Mistake 2: Adding too much fruit
This in my opinion is the biggest mistake people make. People fail to realize that when you remove the fiber from fruit, fructose gets absorbed by the bloodstream without getting digested in your gut. Fiber actually slows down fructose absorption so that the liver does not get overwhelmed.
While fructose from fruit isn’t as bad as corn syrup or soda, it is still fructose and our body does not need too much of it to function. What our body needs for energy is glucose and it gets metabolized by almost every cell in the body.
Fructose on the other hand isn’t, the only organ in the body that breaks it down is the liver and when a flood of fructose comes in (for instance drinking soft drinks or fruit laden juice) the liver gets overwhelmed.
A byproduct of this process is triglyceride, one form of fat, uric acid and free radicals. Over consumption of fructose has been linked to obesity and diabetes to name a few.
To minimize fructose content in your juices, minimize the amount of fruit you put in it, just put enough to make it palatable. The most I’ll put in is one or two apples combined with half a lemon (which doesn’t have too much fructose at all).
Sometimes I would combine strawberries with apple. In some instances I’d blend the strawberries because it does not juice well in a slow juicer and then mix in the apple + leafy greens + cucumber juice afterwards.
Mistake 3: Juicing the same thing over and over again
One way to improve your health is eating a lot of vegetables, particularly the cruciferous family that includes cauliflower, spinach, and cabbage to name a few.
This vegetable family is rich in nutrients and antioxidants, it is also rich in a toxin called goitrogens that can hamper the function of the thyroid gland and cause the condition called goiter.
Vegetables like spinach and cauliflower contain a toxin called oxalates that can cause or worsen kidney stones. These toxins is reduced when you cook them but eating or in this case drinking them raw puts you at risk if you drink the same thing over and over every day.
One way to avoid this is to alternate the ingredients you put in your juicer. For example, juice a celery on Monday, then spinach on Tuesday, then wheatgrass on Wednesday and so on.
Mistake 4: Thinking that it is a replacement for solid food
When people look to lose weight, they look for shortcuts to achieve results. That’s why juice fasts are a hit but not many people realize that there is a risk in doing so. While they’ll lose weight, it is not sustainable because you deprive your body of nutrients found only in solid food.
Also when you do an extended juice fast (you only drink juice and not eat solids), your hunger pangs get worst because of the nutrient deprivation and you’ll end up eating more than what your body needs. This results in massive weight gain.
There are success stories of people doing extreme juice fasts, the most famous arguably is Joe Cross, the man behind Fat, Sick and Nearly dead.
But a more sustainable approach in losing weight and getting healthy would be completely changing your diet and incorporating juicing into your lifestyle like what Neil Martin did. The results are inspiring – he lost 75 pounds and no longer suffers symptoms of asthma and IBS.
The latter is more sustainable because you don’t need to go through extended periods without solid food but you still lose weight and get healthy because of the lifestyle change.
Mistake 5: Buying a juice just because the guy in the infomercial says it’s good
If you’re serious with juicing then investing in a good juicer is a must but choosing one can be tough because there are different choices and the terminologies honestly are confusing.
Before buying the first juicer in an infomercial you have to identify your needs and preferences – the type of produce you’ll juice, spare time, space available and budget. Once you identify those variables, you can narrow down options and make the proper choice.
People who have time constraints and don’t mind a noisy machine would be better off with a centrifugal juicer because it extracts juice in seconds and prep time is minimized because of the large feed chute.
For folks who like to have their leafy green juice, a horizontal slow juicer would be an ideal choice because of the way it is designed it extracts a lot from leafy green vegetables. It won’t be as fast as a centrifugal juicer but since it has few moving parts, it will be easy to clean.